Blog Posts from July 2004 (page 1 of 4)

TechEd NZ Student Day

We arrived this morning at 5am after a relatively uneventful flight to Auckland. Our flight from Seattle to LA was late, so we had to make a mad dash to the international terminal. It didn’t help that the guy at the Qantas desk was to busy flirting w/ a co-worker to remember to hand me back my passport. <sigh> But I got it back and all went well on the 12 hour flight. Patrick was so good! Slept most of the way there and was an angel when he was awake. Jules and I even got a few winks.

I just finished presenting Metropolis as part of TechEd NZ’s Student Day. Sort of wierd to present Metropolis to students – the rest of the agenda was either dev focused or “cool” tech like personal media centers and Xbox games. Seemed to get a good reaction, tho. Talked to a few people afterwards who liked it. There was one guy who tried to set me up on the topic of structure data standardization by asking my opinion of standardizing word document formats. He was unaware that we have published Word’s XML format. On top of that, I’m not sure how having a standardized doc format helps in SOA. Documents are unstructured data – one of the key points of Metropolis is the value of standardized structured data formats. Knowning where the paragraph breaks are doesn’t help you understand a contract.

It’s almost 5:30pm here, but my body thinks it’s 10:30pm yesterday, so I’m off to dinner w/ Jules and Patrick. The weekend is for sightseeing so look for me back here on Monday.

Architecture Down Under

I’m off for New Zealand today. I’m presenting at TechEd New Zealand and TechEd Australia next week. They’ve got it set up nice – present in Auckland Friday and Monday, fly to Australia Tuesday, then present in Canberra Wenesday and Thursday. I’m presenting Metropolis and Data in SOA – the same talks I did at TechEd US. After that, I’m off for a week in Sydney with family. Jules & Patrick are coming with, and my mom is meeting up with us in Australia. So things may be pretty slow around here, especially that second week.

In prepration for this trip, I cleaned out my inbox for the first time in, well, ever. Granted, most of it was simply moved to local archive folders, but I did actually throw out everything in my deleted items folders. Typcially, I run bouncing up against my 200 MB mailbox quota. As of yesterday afternoon, I was at 26 MB. I haven’t had my inbox that empty in five years. Of course, two weeks of unread and unanswered email will fill that up real quick.

The Nerd, the Suit and the Fortune Teller

Arvindra and Clemens both blogged “The Nerd, the Suit and the Fortune Teller”, a hilarious piece of theater performed at TechEd Amsterdam a few weeks ago. Clemens plays the nerd, Rafal Lukawiecki the suit and Pat Helland the fortune teller. We’ve got the video up on the web, you can access it from Pat’s site. Between this and Mr. CIO Guy, sounds like TechEd Amsterdam was a blast. Mental note: next year, make it to Europe for TechEd!

Vonage and Skype

I need to start using more communication tools on the internet. Yesterday I researched Vonage and downloaded Skype. Given how much I use my mobile phone, I don’t think I need to spend so much on my home phone system. Vonage is much cheaper than my current phone provider – only $30 a month – which includes unlimited calling in the US. It’s got neat features like virtual numbers, so multiple numbers in different area codes all point to the same phone. And while it provides unlimited US calling, the phone doesn’t have to be in the US. So if my brother-in-law in Germany got it, he could call all his family in the US for free. A teammate has it, and said it works pretty well. Anyone else out there using it? If I got it, I’d like to use it with the existing phone wiring in the house. My cable box has to dial up to download program listings. I think it would be funny to use an analog model over the broadband connection.

As for Skype, lots of people have blogged that, so I won’t bother to here, except to point out that Skype 1.0 is now available (released today). Feel free to skype me, though it doesn’t appear to work through the corporate firewall.

Update: I should have realized, but there are other choices in the internet telephone business. Lingo caught my eye – only $20 a month for unlimited calling to the US, Canada and Western Europe (which includes Germany where my afore-mentioned brother-in-law lives). Anyone on Lingo? Also, I’m not sure why, but you can only call landlines in Europe as part of the unlimited calling plan. I also noticed that calling mobile phones in Europe on Vonage is more expensive. Why is that?

Architect OPML

I finally updated my Architecture Strategy and Evangelist Blogs OPML file. For single updates, DasBlog’s web interface is fine, but for doing a slew of updates it blows. I guess that’s why my blogrolls are so out of date. What I really want is an InfoPath form so I can do all the updates locally and then upload the new file at once. InfoPath’s integration with SharePoint rocks, I wonder what it would take to get that kind of integration on an arbitrary web site? Or, alternatively, how to run your blog on SharePoint? I screwed around with SharePoint as a “personal content management system” a while back, but the difficulty in customizing it (as well as a lack of time on my part) doomed that.